Deborah Armstrong

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    Forever Love – Prologue

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                   Quinn Thomas opened the back door to the waiting limo and got in. He was eager to get back to his hotel room away from the drunks and the hookers.

                   “Anytime,” he grumbled.


                   “Just waiting on one more,” the driver answered him. “I can see him coming now, and it looks like he’s got company.” He smiled knowingly.


                   “Damn,” Quinn swore under his breath as he saw the other passengers approaching.


                   Tom Braden, a fellow actor who was not as famous as Quinn, stumbled to the limo as a woman pulled him toward their ride. Quinn had seen the woman before and had stayed away from her. She was known to make the rounds at all of the best film festival parties, making sure the men were well taken care of, especially the stars. Apparently, Tom was on her to-do list tonight.


                   “Hey, Buddy!” Tom slurred as he fell onto the back seat. “Great party, eh?”


                   Quinn was tired of the non-stop poke at the Canadian vernacular. He ignored Tom and the woman as he leaned his head back against the headrest. Maybe if he ignored them, they’d do the same.


                   He could hear their moans from wild groping and drunken kissing. He had no urge to look. He’d seen it all before and didn’t need to see a repeat performance. He tried not to judge, but Tom should know better. He was married with kids.


                   “Hey, Quinnie, wanna join us?” the woman asked as she put her hand on his crotch.


                   Quinn grimaced as he opened his eyes and removed the uninvited hand. “Thanks, but I think Tom wants you all to himself.”


                   “Hell, Quinn, join in, there’s lots to share!” Tom said as he undid his belt and worked his pants down to his ankles.


                   The woman was already naked. There wasn’t much to take off. It was clear that her skin-tight dress was the only garment she wore to the party.


                   “Come on, Quinnie, you can have first choice. What do you want?”


                   “Thanks, but not tonight. You two have fun. I’m going to close my eyes. Pretend I’m not here.”


                   “Your loss,” Tom shrugged as he mounted the woman.


                   “Aren’t you gonna watch?” The woman seemed disappointed in not having an audience.


                   “No.” Quinn put his head back and closed his eyes.


                   Quinn tuned the couple out; it wasn’t hard to do. He had years of practice. He could sit through any uncomfortable situation and think of something completely different. He always timed it perfectly, coming out of his thoughts just as the torture ended. No one ever knew he was gone.


                   Calculus and statistics were the usual standbys, but not tonight. Tonight Quinn wanted something better to take his mind off the live sex show going on across from him. Tonight he thought of her, the woman he had dreamed of for what seemed like forever, envisioning her long brown hair hanging down past her shoulders, shining in the sunlight as the wind blew through it. He could see her smile and the sparkle in her eyes as she laughed. Her lips were full and sensual, kissable and irresistible. Quinn knew what that mouth could do. Her kisses were torture and ecstasy all at once. No woman could compare to the kisses she gave him.


                   Quinn hardened at the thought of her. He imagined his hands caressing her body, running over the soft curves, the full breasts, and her long legs. Quinn could feel her as she reacted to his touch, the electricity that sparked between them, the way she arched her back when he entered her, pulling all of him into her. He could feel her nails raking up over his back, finding his hair and pulling him tight and never letting go. Focusing on that image, he remembered every detail— her taste, her smell, her touch. Damn, how he wanted her. He ached for her. He took her slow and easy and she loved every minute of it. He was in no rush and neither was she.


                   “Quinn, buddy, we’re here. It’s time to wake up.” Tom shook Quinn’s shoulder, assuming he was asleep.


                   Quinn kissed his dream goodbye. Soon she promised him then he opened his eyes.


                   “You missed a helluva party, buddy.” Tom grinned as he tucked himself back into his pants.


                   Quinn couldn’t help but notice the lipstick smeared over Tom’s swollen lips. He handed him a handkerchief. “Clean up before you get out, man, if you don’t want your wife to see a picture of this.”


                   He ignored the woman. She’d make sure she looked good when she stepped out of the limo. She probably had another star on her list waiting for her.


                   He looked out the tinted windows and was instantly relieved to see they were in the underground parking lot of the hotel. There would be no crowds to push through tonight. Quinn got out of the limo quickly and headed for the elevator. He didn’t wait for the others. The elevator door opened and he stepped in, pushing the button for his floor and the close door button at the same time.


                   “Quinn!’ Tom called out to him.


                   They could take the next one. Fuck them.


                   A quick swipe of his key and he was in his hotel suite. Quinn dropped the key on the desk and headed for the bar. He poured himself a full glass of scotch before he stripped. Damn, he was still hard for her. It served him right for thinking of her for an hour—the things they did.


                   Quinn’s cell phone rang a familiar ring.


                   “Mother,” he drawled as he answered it.


                   “Bad timing? Are you with someone?” his mother teased.


                   “Not tonight, Mother. Perhaps you’ll catch me another time.” He took a long drink from his glass.


                   “I wish.” She laughed lightly. “Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor and I can never catch you with anyone. You’re sure you don’t have anything to tell me?”


                   Quinn groaned. “I’m as straight as an arrow, Mother. I thought you’d be happy that I’m not sleeping my way through Hollywood.”


                   “But you need to have sex, Quinn. A man as handsome and as virile as you needs to get laid.”


                   Quinn was used to frank conversations with his parents, especially his mother. Before his first date in high school, she presented him with a box of condoms, certain he’d get lucky. She knew the girls would want him.


                   “I’m the master of my domain, Mom. Don’t worry about me. How’s Dad?” It was time to go to the default topic.


                   “He’s sitting with me in the living room. We watched one of those entertainment shows. You were on it, of course.”


                   “I didn’t do it. Whatever they say I did. It never happened.” Quinn headed for the bathroom and started the shower.


                   “They say you’re hooking up with Rene. I thought she was history.”


                   “She is. Nothing is going on between us. I told you that.”


                   “Yes, but—”


                   “Mom, we’ve gone over this. Who are you going to believe? Your son or the television shows?”


                   “But, it’s so convincing.”


                   “Professor Thomas, you should have your doctorate rescinded for believing such lies. I think I’ll write to the Dean of the Faculty.”


                   “You could, but I don’t think it would help. I’m sleeping with him. I think he’d side with me. I give excellent head.”


                   Quinn choked on his drink. She always had to have the last word. “May I speak with him?”


                   Quinn could hear his father admonishing his wife. He smiled at their banter.


                   “Hello, son. Sorry about that. You know how she gets when she sees you on television. How are you?”


                   “It’s okay. Just stick up for me, will you and tell her it’s not true? She knows me better than that.”


                   “She loves you. We both do. How are things in Toronto? Meet any real stars?”


                   Quinn appreciated his dad’s humor. Quinn would always be his son first. Being a movie star was just like any other occupation. It didn’t matter to him as long as Quinn was happy.


                   “I’m flying to LA tomorrow. I have a meeting scheduled with the studio; then, I’m back in New York to finish this damned movie.”


                   Quinn’s father knew that not talking about Toronto meant that it was the same as any other film festival—long, tortuous and incredibly lonely for his son.


                   “I’ve got to go. I’ll phone you tomorrow. Tell Mom for me.”


                   “Good night, son.”


                   Quinn ended the call and put his phone on the bathroom counter. He looked at himself in the mirror, his hard-on gone. There was no better way to lose it than by having a phone conversation with his mother about sex. The shower was hot, just the way he liked it. Quinn cleared his mind of all thoughts. He was tired and he had an early flight in the morning.


                   “I’m mad at you,” the voice on the other end of the phone admonished him.


                   Quinn looked at the clock on the bedside table and groaned. “Rene, it’s four o’clock in the fucking morning.”


                   “You weren’t sleeping, were you? Who’s with you?”


                   Quinn could hear the drunken jealousy in her voice. “Why are you mad at me?” He sat up in the bed and reached for his unfinished drink. “I haven’t done anything.” He swallowed the scotch in one gulp.


                   “That’s the point, Quinn. You haven’t done anything. I keep waiting for you to make a move and you don’t. We should be lovers,” she sobbed. “We should be making love right now. Instead, you’re with some bimbo, and I’m here all alone. Bastard!”


                   “I am in bed by myself, Rene. There has been no sex on this trip, not that it’s any of your business.”




                   There was no reasoning with her. Rene was Quinn’s co-star in his current movie Untitled, and they had filmed two other movies together. Their onscreen chemistry was unmatched by any other couple in Hollywood, but that’s all there was. Away from the cameras, they had nothing in common, not even between the sheets.


                   “I don’t lie.”


                   “All men lie. It’s your nature to lie.” She sniffed then noisily gulped down a drink.


                   “I’ve never lied to you, and I won’t start now. Come on, Rene, you know nothing’s going to happen with us. We tried it, got the T-shirt and moved on.”


                   “I don’t want a damned T-shirt. I want you.”


                   “Look, I’ve got an early flight to LA, then I’ll be back in New York on Monday. We’ll talk it out then. Go to bed, Rene. Get some sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning.”


                   “I love you.”


                   “Good night, Rene.”


                   He put his phone down on the bedside table and made himself comfortable. There would be no more sleeping tonight. Quinn closed his eyes and focused on her, the woman of his dreams, the woman he had never met.

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